The effects of an asthma education program on selected health behaviors of school-age children who have recently experienced an acute asthma episode
Abstract (Summary)The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of an asthma education program on selected health behaviors of school-age children who recently experienced an acute asthma episode. Asthma, the leading cause of school absenteeism and a major source of disability in children, has increased in this age group in recent years. Furthermore, children in lower socioeconomic groups may be at increased risk for hospitalization due to irregular health care. A sample of 50 school-age children and their children, obtained from admission and emergency room rosters of a Children's Hospital, was randomly assigned to an experimental group to participate in an asthma education program or to a control group. The education consisted of two 1-hour teaching sessions with a format individualized to the needs of the child and parent. Hypotheses were tested to determine the effects of the program on seven variables: a) hospitalizations, b) emergency health care visits, c) school absences, d) altered breathing episodes, e) child's knowledge of asthma, f) child's attitude about asthma, and g) parent's perception of the child's asthma. Parents in both the experimental and control groups kept a 3-month diary to monitor the child's medication use, wheezing episodes, school absences, emergency care, and hospitalizations. The child's knowledge and attitudes about asthma and the parent's perceptions of the child's asthma were measured by paper-and-pencil instruments upon entry into the study and after completion of the 3-month diary. While keeping the diary, each parent received a reminder phone call every two weeks. Upon completion of the study, a specially designed T-shirt was given to each child, and each child and parent in the control group received a packet of teaching materials. The findings showed a significant decrease (p = .036) in emergency health care visits and a significant increase (p = .031) in the child's knowledge of asthma. The other variables changed in a positive direction but were not statistically significant. These findings were congruent with previous research in this area. The significance of this study lies in providing evidence that a targeted asthma education program may reduce the frequency of emergency care and increase the school-age child's knowledge of asthma.
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/1990